Hi there everyone,
It’s Tuesday again… no, wait… it’s Thursday. Sigh, it’s been a busy week.
This week I’ll show you how to make a very useful peg bag out of some fabric and a wooden coat hanger and I’ll give you a yarn review. Hope you like it.
You may have noticed a new page called “Hand Dyed Yarn For Sale”. Please have a little look. People who see my yarn in person say that it is lovely and that the colours are beautiful so rest assured that even if my photos aren’t great, the yarn is. Since my sources of yarn are cheap, I can offer you original, hand painted yarn at low prices.
MAKE A PEG BAG
The idea of using a coat hanger in this design is not quite my own. I saw a picture of one in an interior decorating book. It didn’t come with instructions and the design was quite different. I liked the idea and so I made one for myself that matches the red and white decor in our laundry. Mine has been in use for a couple of years and has faded a little. The coat hanger gives it sturdiness and means you can hang it on the clothesline or the laundry trolley while you hang out the washing and then hang it on a hook in the laundry when you are done.
WHAT YOU NEED
A piece of fabric about 65cm long and 25cm wide. Use a heavy cotton fabric.
A sewing machine and thread
A wooden coat hanger
A small saw like a hack saw or pruning saw (yes really!)
A small length of ribbon
WHAT TO DO
Cut your piece of fabric into a rectangle measuring about 65 x 25cm.
At a point in the centre of the width and 11cm from one end, make a 1cm long buttonhole using the sewing machine. This is where the metal part of the hanger goes through the fabric into the wooden part of the hanger. If you don’t know how to do a buttonhole, the instruction manual of your sewing machine should explain it.
Now you join the ends of the fabric and make the opening at the same time. Make all seams 1.5cm from the edge. Pin the ends of the length of fabric together. Sew a seam at either side of the ends for about 5cm so that the ends of the fabric are joined only at the sides and there is a large gap in the middle. To make the opening more secure at the edges, sew backwards for 1cm at the opening edges. Press the seam open and continue pressing the top and bottom of the opening to make a hem around the opening. Sew down the raw edges of the join and the opening about 5mm from the fold line. You now have a long piece of fabric, joined at the ends, with a neat and secure opening in the seam. It’s a bit hard to explain so have a close look at the picture.
With wrong side facing out, lay the bag flat so that the button hole is at the top fold line. Pin sides together and sew a seam down each side of the bag. Turn it right side out. You now have a bag with a small hole at the top and an opening about 10cm down from the top.
Put the bag up against the hanger with the buttonhole and the metal hook lined up. Mark on the hanger where the bag edges are. Using a small saw, cut off the ends of the hanger so that it fits into the top of the bag. Remove the metal hook and put the hanger inside at the top of the bag. Poke the metal hook through the buttonhole and screw into the hanger.
Tie a piece of ribbon around the bottom of the metal hook. Fill it up with pegs and make doing the washing a little easier.
SELBY’S YARN PICKS
Heirloom Alpaca 8ply, 100% Alpaca, 50g, 95 metres, made in Australia.
This is the best commercially produced alpaca that I have come across. It is soft, smooth and lofty and has just the slightest amount of halo. Some alpaca can make you itch and some can be a little rough. This one, however is almost as soft as angora and not at all itchy. It knits up like any other 8ply or DK weight at 22sts to 10cm, perfect for substituting into 8ply wool patterns. It is pleasant to knit with, doesn’t split and glides easily through your fingers and on to the needles.
What I like best about Heirloom Alpaca is the colours. Although there is not a huge range of colours, each one is heathered and made up of many colours to achieve the main colour. The light blue, for instance, if you look carefully, contains light green, pink, lilac, mid blue and light blue. The pink contains light pink, mid pink, lilac and light purple. The heathering is just visible in the finished knitting, making for beautiful, dynamic colours. Aside from the heathered colours, there is a light brown and white twist which is also lovely.
For huggable, comfortable and warm garments, this yarn is an excellent choice. It retails for around $7 a ball which is not a bad price for 100% alpaca. I highly recommend it.
IN THE GARDEN
After a couple of sunny days the weather has turned cold and wet and, once again, our lounge room has turned into a drying room. If I go for a walk in the garden my shoes get very wet. Our broccoli is finished. We have eaten some and frozen some and the remainder of the plants go to the chickens where they get devoured. We have had some caulis already and there are more to come. I never really liked cauli until I tried homegrown ones. We have had some baby carrots but I’ll let most of them grow larger before we eat them. Our broad beans are flowering so beans aren’t too far away. The potatoes are grand and the chickens are giving us about 5 eggs a day. I think when the weather warms up our peas will be happier. We have ordered various seeds for spring and summer vegies and also a heated propagating tray. This should help us get the summer veg growing early.
I’ll be spraying the stone fruit trees shortly for leaf curl. This needs to be done in late winter and again as the buds begin to swell. Leaf curl spray is basically copper and prevents the tree succumbing to the fungus that causes the disease. Spraying is particularly important if you have pruned the tree because the fungus can enter more easily where the cuts were made.
Many thanks to those who read my blog regularly. Please leave comments and questions so that I know who you all are.